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First Build, Need Insight


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Hi, I'm new to this forum and would just like to say it's a great place, very helpful to the people who are ambitious enough to build their own guitar. I got the idea to build my own guitar about a year ago, and bought Melvin Hiscock's how to build your own electric guitar and it taught me a lot. I bought a LP plan from guitar plans unlimited, and a mahogany body blank from warmoth. Now, since it is my first build, I have some questions I was hoping you could helping me answer.

After reading about LP's, the main complaint i've heard about them is their weight. I was wondering if I could cut some fairly big pockets in the body to cut down on it, but at the same time not affect the sustain too much.

Secondly, I was wondering where you would recommend buying a flame/curly maple cap for the guitar. I don't know if I should spend a lot of money and make it a great guitar, or spend less just in case I mess it up.

My father is an engineer and owns a CNC machine at his work, and has other lathes and stuff, so I am better equipped for the job I suppose.

I have a few more questions, but will wait for these to get answered first so I don't end up with a HUGE post. Also, do you have an other advice for me and my first build?

thanks alot for any help you can give.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Hi, I'm new to this forum and would just like to say it's a great place, very helpful to the people who are ambitious enough to build their own guitar. I got the idea to build my own guitar about a year ago, and bought Melvin Hiscock's how to build your own electric guitar and it taught me a lot. I bought a LP plan from guitar plans unlimited, and a mahogany body blank from warmoth. Now, since it is my first build, I have some questions I was hoping you could helping me answer.

After reading about LP's, the main complaint i've heard about them is their weight. I was wondering if I could cut some fairly big pockets in the body to cut down on it, but at the same time not affect the sustain too much.

Secondly, I was wondering where you would recommend buying a flame/curly maple cap for the guitar. I don't know if I should spend a lot of money and make it a great guitar, or spend less just in case I mess it up.

My father is an engineer and owns a CNC machine at his work, and has other lathes and stuff, so I am better equipped for the job I suppose.

I have a few more questions, but will wait for these to get answered first so I don't end up with a HUGE post. Also, do you have an other advice for me and my first build?

thanks alot for any help you can give.

Hallo.

I´m also doing my first build right now. Did you find out where to get a very flamed top wood???

Thanks

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After reading about LP's, the main complaint i've heard about them is their weight. I was wondering if I could cut some fairly big pockets in the body to cut down on it, but at the same time not affect the sustain too much.

Secondly, I was wondering where you would recommend buying a flame/curly maple cap for the guitar. I don't know if I should spend a lot of money and make it a great guitar, or spend less just in case I mess it up.

Do a search for 'chambering' --that's what you'll want to do to the mahogany to reduce the weight. There are various ways to go about this.

As for the top....the main issue is whether you want to build THE guitar you want to play, or just want to get your feet wet first. I find it hard to work up the energy to build a guitar I'm not really interested in playing.

One way to go is to build a parallel guitar, that is, a 'practice' guitar with less costly woods-- you'll end up completing each step twice, the first time on the practice guitar, the second time on the real deal.

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so what you're saying is that I should build a guitar without putting that much money into first so i'm confident for the next one. I can understand that. I'm planning on build a zakk wylde camo guitar so I don't have to buy an expensive piece of wood for the top. what would you recommend to put on top so I can carve it though, and where could I buy it?

also, is there just any tips you have for me while building?

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so what you're saying is that I should build a guitar without putting that much money into first so i'm confident for the next one. I can understand that. I'm planning on build a zakk wylde camo guitar so I don't have to buy an expensive piece of wood for the top. what would you recommend to put on top so I can carve it though, and where could I buy it?

also, is there just any tips you have for me while building?

If you stain or paint the wood, you can use any boring cheap wood that you want for a practice build. Poplar is cheap at Lowes, but beware, it may not be fully dry.

General tips...

1) Buy or draw an accurate full-scale plan

2) Follow it exactly when shaping wood

3) Buy Melvyn Hiscock's "How to Build an Electric Guitar". Read it through and then read each appropriate section again before you begin a particular task, and reference it constantly as you go.

4) Have your tools set up properly and be careful

5) Have fun. :D

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Ok, sense im building my first LP to be a zakk wylde camo, and I will be putting solid paint over it I don't need a "nice" looking piece of wood. I just need one that is easy to be shaped into the carved top, but not take away from any of the sound. I also don't need another full body blank, but don't know what kind, or how big of a piece of wood I need. and where should I buy it? thanks

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So are you going to program and use the CNC for the body or are you planning to do it with hand tools? If you are going to use the CNC. I would work on your programming, then use inexpensive material to test(does not need to be solid wood, particle board would be fine). After you have worked out the bugs, use whatever top you want. Figured maples range in price depending on how intense the figure is. A med figure, but certainly nice top will not set you back too much. Remeber not to buy wood that is a lot wider than you need(refer to your templates and drawings with a bit of extra material to allow for joining) or longer than you need. These woods cost per. their volume and a premium is attached to wider wood.

Rich

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I just need one that is easy to be shaped into the carved top, but not take away from any of the sound.

For a first project, I wouldn't worry too much about the "tonal properties" of wood. Not to discourage you, but for a first project there are a lot of other things that can go poorly that will change the sound or playability of the instrument more than not having a maple top. Of course if you want maple, go for it, I'm just saying there's cheaper wood out there that is easy to work and structurally sound (poplar).

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